By Bendik Soerensen
The Steinberg Museum of Art, located on the second floor of Hillwood Commons, has several interesting exhibits planned for the fall semester, ranging from paintings by abstract painter Roy Newell to the works of faculty members of Post’s Art Department.
The current exhibitions (up from Sept. 8 – Nov. 15) are called “Changing New York: Photographs by Berenice Abbott, 1935-1938,” and “Color and Time: Paintings by Roy Newell, 1956-2000.”
Barbara Applegate, the Director of the museum, spoke enthusi- astically about these exhibitions. “There is no connection between the two except that Abbott’s [works] are part of the museum’s collection and one of the Newell paintings is, too. They are together because it was good timing for both; the Newell exhibition had just been at the Pollock-Kras- ner House and Study center,” Applegate said. Abbott’s photographs are from the Great Depression era, when she took pictures of New York City in a rapidly changing time for both the city and the country as a whole.
“When she came back from Paris where she interned and worked with a modernist artist, Man Ray, she saw huge change in the city, and she wanted to document it,” Applegate continued. The photos document a lot of architecture, buildings, streets, signs, and people, all with the modernist flair Abbott picked up under Ray during her Parisian intern- ship. She didn’t want the pictures to be pretty, but rather wanted to see the huge contrasts between old and new.
The second exhibition, “Color and Time,” is a big contrast in itself with the use black and white documentation of Abbott’s photography. “Newell painted several huge paintings,” said Applegate. “He was very indecisive, as he later destroyed all these big paintings himself, before starting this collection.”
Applegate explained how Newell’s wife told him to write a book about, “How not to sell paintings. He never sold [them]. Just kept them And then he changed his mind on how he wanted them to look, and then he took the old ones and repainted them, layer by layer. They can look like layers of felt or fabric, and some of them can be works of up to 1,000 hours.” The paintings are cubic and geometric in design, and if you pick up the book about the exhibition with the same name, you can see the progressions of the layering.
From Nov. 24 through Dec. 14, the museum will display the “Annual Faculty Exhibition,” featuring works by professors in the Post Art Department. “Each year, the faculty exhibition is an open invitation for our faculty members to exhibit their most current works. There will be photographs, paintings, and works on paper. This year will highlight the work of Rick Mills in honor of his retirement from the university,” Applegate said.
“It’s fun to see the professors’ work,” said senior Art major Sofie Hoff. “They often help you, and you [get to] see a glimpse of what they can do. You get more insight [with] what they’re up to. You get more confidence in them, and it’s nice to see for yourself how talented they are. Also, it’s a very diverse art faculty.”
For more information about the Steinberg Museum of Art re- garding events, hours, and upcoming and current shows, go to their Facebook page or visit www.liu.edu/museum. On Sept. 23, the museum will hold an opening reception for the Newell and Abbott exhibitions called “Iced Coffee Common Hour Reception,” from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to all students.